Expectation traps and monetary policy

Stefania Albanesi*, V. V. Chari, Lawrence J. Christiano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Why is inflation persistently high in some periods and low in others? The reason may be the absence of commitment in monetary policy. In a standard model, absence of commitment leads to multiple equilibria, or expectation traps, even without trigger strategies. In these traps, expectations of high or low inflation lead the public to take defensive actions, which then make accommodating those expectations the optimal monetary policy. Under commitment, the equilibrium is unique and the inflation rate is low on average. This analysis suggests that institutions which promote commitment can prevent high inflation episodes from recurring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-741
Number of pages27
JournalReview of Economic Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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